The Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy was established in 1991, with Professor IstvánPénzes as the first head of the new department. During the first six years, SzentJános Hospital’s central intensive care unit (ICU) had been the basis of the rapidly evolving Department.

Responding to the growing demand for undergraduate and postgraduate education, the Department was moved to its new location at the Kútvölgyi Clinical Block in 1997, enabling research, education and advanced patient care.

In 2007, Professor János Gál started to restructure the institution, reorganising and centralising anaesthesia care at the University, increasing the number of ICU beds, amplifying its profile, reorganising management, and having the Department become ISO-certified.

As a university department, the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy takes part in the university’s classic three-fold mission: education, research and health care.

The main profiles of the Department include respiratory failure, conventional and novel ventilatory support, sepsis and septic shock, ischemia/reperfusion, myocardium protection, intensive care-related genetics, peripartum bleeding disorders and various cases of anaesthesia (e.g. cardiac, orthopaedic, gynaecological, obstetric, paediatric and neonatal anaesthesia).

Due to its role in providing progressive professional backup for intensive care and anaesthesia units in Budapest and in the region, the Department provides therapy for patients with even the most complicated cases of cardiac, obstetric, postoperative, haematological and metabolic disorders.

The Department is present on 13 sites across the University. It has ICU beds on three sites: the Kútvölgyi ICU, the Városmajor ICU and the Central ICU; additionally, the Department has also undertaken the role of consultant in various other University ICUs.

Anaesthesia service, supplemented with preoperative examination, risk stratification and patient management, is provided at the following University sites, under the auspices of our Department: the Kútvölgyi Clinical Block, the Városmajor Clinical Block, the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, the 1stand 2ndDepartments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Department of Ophthalmology, the Department of Orthopaedics, the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, the 1stand 2ndDepartments of Paediatrics, the Department of Urology.

Undergraduate and postgraduate education has always received a great deal of attention at the Department. In undergraduate terms, Intensive Care-Anaesthesia and Emergency Medicine-Oxyology are the subjects provided by the Department for medical students in their 9th or 10th semester in Hungarian, English and German.

In postgraduate terms, the Department organises training in Modern Ventilatory Therapy, Intensive Care and Perioperative Respiratory Physiotherapy, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Basic and Advanced Anaesthesia and Intensive Care training for trainees prior to specialisation and for senior colleagues as a part of their Continuing Medical Education (CME).

Special, two-year courses are organised regularly for Intensive Care Nursing and Nurse Anaesthetists. It is a priority to emphasise the importance of practical training and mastery of basic manual skills as part of the programme. This accounts for the increased popularity in recent years of the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care specialisation among trainees.

In cooperation with the National Association of Hypnosis, the Department offers a regular training programme entitled Practical Usage of Suggestions in Somatic Medicine.

For several years, there has been a rapidly developing simulation training system (e.g. CPR-simulation and even high fidelity (HiFi-) simulation in anaesthesia, critical care and emergency medicine) at the Department.

Health Care

The Department treats approximately 1,000 ICU patients per year, most of whom require mechanical ventilation. It also provides complex management of anaesthesia for general and abdominal surgery, gynaecology, obstetrics, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, orthopaedic surgery, paediatrics, paediatric oncologic surgery, neonatal, otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery, maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, and urology, including preoperative risk assessment and perioperative patient management.

As a regional university centre the management of high risk patients is also part of the daily work. The Department runs a pain clinic as well, offering help for patients with chronic pain and taking care of patients requiring long-term outpatient ventilatory support.

Presently, the main areas of research includes respiratory pathophysiology, aetiology prevention and management of postoperative respiratory failure, indication and effects of NO-inhalation therapy, pathophysiology and therapy of septic shock, indications of plasma exchange, therapy of postischaemic cerebral damage, myocardial ischemic preconditioning, neurophysiological monitoring during anaesthesia, ischemia/reperfusion injury, pathophysiology and management of preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, ethics in anaesthesia and intensive care, genetics in critical care medicine, psychological factors and interventions during anaesthesia and intensive care, educational topics, etc. Colleagues are involved in Ph.D. research both within Hungary and abroad, achieving international recognition for the Department. International cooperation include: University of Ulm and University of Munich, Germany, Imperial College London and University of Oxford, Great-Britain, University of TirguMures, Romania, etc.